The full width of this bulkhead is just over 56″. Unfortunately that means it takes two sheets of marine plywood to replace. The companionway offers 37″ of clearance and the bulkhead tabs to the keel, a large fiberglass buildup similar to a knee, prevents installing the bulkhead in one piece. The plan was to cut the lap/rebate on the factory edges of the Okoume sheets, install the inboard piece first, then the outboard piece. That’s what the pics below depict.
The template is fit and finished and most of the tabbing is sanded and ready.
Before final sanding I created a sanding tent to confine the dust that took me a week of vacuuming last time. 60 grit sandpaper on a grinder wheel was the tool for this job.
Eugene (Mr. Carpenter) helped by cutting the rebate for the lap.
After cutting out the bulkhead pieces. I used a jigsaw to cut outside the template line, then finished to the edges using a grinder with 60 grit sandpaper.
I flow coated the edges of the okoume bulkheads with epoxy.
After final sanding and cleaning everything with alcohol it was time to being installing the bulkhead.
I placed 1/2″ of foam in the groove tacked in place with 3M Formula 77. The foam was trimmed from 1″ home insulation foam that is resistant to epoxy.
I mixed thickened epoxy spread on the existing tab and inside the keel knee slot for the first bulkhead half. Tape is there to keep epoxy out of areas where second bulkhead piece and a filet will be added later.
I slid the first piece in and placed pressure on it with some scaffolding.
The next section was a little more challenging and I enlisted help from Eugene again. I had previously drilled eight matching holes in the lap. We mixed our epoxy and thickener and applied it to the lap and the existing tabbing. Then I held the piece in position while Eugene tapped the lap screws in place. More scaffolding pieces were cut and inserted to keep constant pressure on the bulkhead to the tabbing while the epoxy cured.